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Alexandre Bissonnette. Photo: CIJnews

Quebec mosque mass shooting: what we know so far

On the evening of January 29, 2017, Alexandre Bissonnette, a 27-year-old student at Laval University, entered the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec and opened fire with a rifle, killing 6 men and wounding 19 others as they prayed.

He was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder using a restricted firearm, but has not been charged with any terrorism-related offences.

A second man, Mohamed el Khadir, a Moroccan immigrant, was previously identified by authorities as a suspect, taken into custody, questioned and released. Quebec Provincial Police said that he is no longer considered to be a suspect. He is now being called a witness.

Bissonnette, who has a twin brother, was bullied at school for being a “nerd”.

During the funeral for three of the victims, Imam Hussein Guillet laid blame for the shooting on the media and politicians who “were poisoning the atmosphere” and were partially responsible for the attacker’s actions. “Before shooting bullets into the heads of his victims, somebody planted ideas, more dangerous than the bullets, in his head. But we want Alexandre to be the last one who will have some criminal act like that”, Guillet said.

As three of the victims being mourned at a memorial service in Montreal on Wednesday, a mosque in the city was vandalized for the second time in a few months. A window at the Khadijah centre was smashed and had eggs thrown at it in between 7 and 8 a.m. Police spokesman said that an investigation is underway.

On Thursday, thousands paid their respects to the victims at the Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal.

Prime Minster Trudeau, who attended the funeral service for three of the victims, said that all of Canada is shaken by the ‘brutal and hateful’ attack.

Candlelight vigils were held for the victims in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax, Cobourg, London and other cities across Canada.

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About Ilana Shneider

Ilana Shneider
Ilana Shneider is the co-editor of CIJnews and the founding executive director of Canada-Israel Friendship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mutually beneficial, long-standing diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Israel. She can be reached at


  1. Dont believe one word anymore, the only part, there was a shooting, nothing more, dont be, ieve only thks guy the snooger, remember they lie.

  2. lie detector test for everyone

  3. maybe we should be turning in known sick sounding people

  4. Canadians an idiots

    Yes Trump, will act against Islam, will overthrow Trudeau clown!
    Yes sane world really need you!
    Baboons demonstrations against Trump – are mostly Muslims who want to control all of North America!

  5. This mosque and others near it have experience with hate vandalizism going back years before Trump was even a candidate.
    This is a result of authorities not take that seriously.
    Blaming Trump will only cover up the real problems in the community.

  6. I doubt any of you would be asking for the video surveillance footage if the shooter was a Muslim.

    • why not at least the evidence would be there for the public to evaluate instead of taking the word of an uncredible media?

    • Why don’t you ask the family members of the victims how they feel about the RCMP releasing footage of their loved ones being gunned down?

    • Amy, you are some kind professional fake troll.

    • If you want the video so bad then go to the trial.

    • Maria I’m neither professional nor fake nor do I consider this trolling. I’m just a very concerned citizen with a lot of free time lately.

    • I understand your concern of course as far as the tactfullness of releasing this evidence. but you must also understand that the initial reports on this tragic event that there was a witness on air that proclaimed that there were two suspects screaming allu ackbar . firing guns. it was immediately with drawn from the where else would we hope to get the truth. it’s not like our mainstream media has a rosey track record on being unbiased and truthfull.

    • What do you mean by “on air”? Who was this witness? Do you know their name?

    • Who was that witness? What was his name?

    • You’d have to ask Ms.Merchand that. If the video was made public then we wouldn’t have to ask anything, providing the surveilence footage was of good quality we’d be able to see for ourselves how many there were. you see what I mean about uncredible news information.

    • I don’t see why you find this all suspicious. If you were running a news network and you just got word that there was a shooting in a mosque and you were looking for any information to put on air, the shooting just happened, everything is chaotic, and a man phones in, refuses to give his name, and claims to be a witness, would you put him on air? Of course you would. That’s what news organizations do. And later it turned out that every other NAMED witness contradicted the anonymous source. So why do you trust this anonymous man who hasn’t come forward over the media?

    • Basically what you are saying is that this single, anonymous man who has disappeared is more credible to you than every other witness, the RCMP, CBC, etc. Based on what? What happens if the video comes out and it doesn’t back up what this anonymous source said? Will you claim the video was tampered with? Will you move the goalposts again and again?

    • Amy Winter I don’t necessarily trust this man. That is not my argument. with the footage there would be no need to doubt . it would provide the empirical evidence to either verify or disclaim anything that has up to this point been second hand information.

    • Like if you were an RCMP officer right now and you had this footage, and it was against the rules for you to leak it before the trial, and if you did leak it it would be very upsetting to the families of the victim, would you really be thinking “it’s worth it to risk my job to prove to the conspiracy theorists that what happened actually happened”?

    • no this isn’t an argument about probability. standard procedure doesn’t satesfy the publics desire for the truth, all media in it’s various forms is a tool of subversion.that is public knowledge. and they are well known to put their own spin on journalism, with the footage it would eliminate any doubt. you can’t argue with video footage. it’s admissable evidence in any court whether beneficial or damning.

    • How is this not an argument about probability? Do you admit that the balance of evidence so far backs up the official version?

    • Given that the RCMP has good reasons not to release the footage until the trial (standard procedure, the feelings of the families of the victims) do you think that the lack of footage is suspicious or normal?

    • Given the procedures must follow prodicol hopefully the footage will be realised in it entirety, unaltured to be witnessed and judged. only then will we be able to determine for certain whether the initial reports were unbiased, impartial and credible.

  7. until the video survelience footage is made public I will not give any more credence to the narrative of the story that the media is portraying on this tragic event.

  8. What is interesting Fox News

    Reported 90,000 Christians were killed last year

    Will you light candles for these people. The killings reported were in India and other Muslim Countries

    And you think Trump is wrong. And now you have Iran letting off Missiles

    I personally don’t like anyone being killed. For any reason

    Unfortunately wake up and smell the 🌹.

    The world is in a mess long before Trump

  9. Cant believe a thing anymore. Never in my 61 years have I seen such all out lying. The young people are being brain washed in college by these left wing professors.

  10. One of the strangest stories ever.. All we know is that the liberals and media are having a field day with it, and introducing more Muslim refugees and blasphemy laws

  11. Where is the tape! Show us the gun . show us something to prove it . I don’t believe everything they say that happened

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